by Nadeem Qadir;
Bangladeshi workers in COVID-19 lockdown in their dorms in Singapore were in for a surprise when the island nation’s Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugan went to meet them along with a top Bangladeshi entrepreneur, Muhammad Aziz Khan.
The dorms in Westlite Papan Dormitory houses mainly Bangladeshi workers who were passing their days in anguish over their future in Singapore in the post-COVID-19 era.
Aziz Khan, the chairman of one of Bangladesh’s largest conglomerate Summit Group with its international office in Singapore, was invited Wednesday by Shanmugan to speak to the Bangladeshi workers.
“The Bangladeshi workers were very happy to learn that their job after the post COVID-19 era has been assured by the Singapore government along with their wages,” Aziz Khan told this correspondent by WhatsApp.
He added that the Bangladeshi workers are in good health and much more spirited and happy now after getting the good news.
“Even sending money to their homes is being taken care of from the dorm and they expressed their gratitude for visiting them and enjoyed meeting someone talking in the same language – Bangla,” Khan said.
He told the workers that they were among the greatest Bangladeshis as they were helping to develop two countries simultaneously with their hard labour, including projects like the Padma Bridge back at home.
“We always live with hoping for the best and you must not lose your courage, especially as all of you are mostly young in age,” the Summit boss added.
Minister Shanmugam in his comments assured the expatriate workers that his government would do everything possible to ensure they retained their work and got their wages along with medical help.
Majority of COVID-19 cases have been reported from the dorms where the expatriate workers live in Singapore.
The island nation is a favourite destination for Bangladeshi workers and currently number about 50,000, majority of them are men.